On Friday Dec 9, one year after the historic COP21 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and most of the premiers signed a historic pan-Canadian framework to fight climate change. The goal is to meet Canada’s emissions targets agreed to at COP21, a 30% reduction of 2005 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030. So what does this mean for you and me, the average Canadian?
Much of what we previously explored in our blog on this topic in October remains the same. If provinces, such as Saskatchewan and Manitoba do not implement a carbon pricing system by 2018, a $10 per tonne carbon price will be imposed on them, increasing to $50 per tonne by 2022. Provinces that have signed on to the deal are already doing better than this plan, although that is easier to say for provinces such as Alberta and British Columbia who have a direct carbon pricing system compared to Quebec and Ontario that us the cap and trade system.
But again, what does that mean to me? I think there will be some ‘wait and see’. The framework calls for new building codes to increase energy efficiency, expanding clean energy sources, upgrading power grids and making charging stations more accessible for electric cars. It also includes incentives to retrofit existing homes and a push to build more net-zero homes. Looking at this list, I think it’s safe to say costs will go up for the average Canadian, but perhaps we’re getting closer to paying for the true cost of our lifestyles when it comes to the environment.